MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach city council candidate Randal Wallace is running as one of two incumbents. Nine people are running for three seats for the Nov. 7 election, and Wallace hopes to see his achievements through in another term.
Wallace said he was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, near 67th Ave. North. He's a Myrtle Beach High School and Lander University graduate. Wallace is a local commercial real estate agent, and member of St. Philips Lutheran Church.
Wallace told WMBF News why he wants to be councilman again. "I've always said the thing that I enjoy about this job is helping people. I had some advice I was given many, many years ago I got when working on a campaign for Senator Strom Thurmond...he told me if somebody is on the other side of that desk, they're sitting there because they didn't believe they have anywhere else to go...and it's your job to help them...and if I pride myself on anything, I haven't done it perfectly...is to try to be accessible to people and try to take care of the issues affecting their life. Because city council and city work, is actually, we make decisions that effect people's every day life, you know, and we want to make sure services work and all that. But, most importantly is that you're there when they need the assistance...and I try to always do that and if I get the opportunity to continue to serve, that's the joy that I have in the job," he said.
Wallace on redevelopment:
When it comes to redevelopment, Wallace said he wants to capitalize on what's already been done during his terms, in addition to working on added incentives. Wallace wants to attract more locals to downtown Myrtle Beach. He said he's for more incentives, focusing on small businesses, and historic home ownership to help with revitalizing older neighborhoods. Wallace explained he wants to work to bridge gaps between different parts of the city to make it more appealing for everyone.
"What I'd love to do is get us an economic development office of some kind, so that goal can be to work with the downtown redevelopment corporation...but it can be a citywide kind of thing to work with the city to help on some of the issues we've had with redevelopment and spur some incentives and go after some things to maybe loosen up some of the things we do with small business. Just make ourselves much more business friendly and look for, even smaller business incentives...because in a lot of ways we spend a lot of time trying to get the big get, the big project...but, I think, some of the key things that'll redevelopment downtown..especially on the highway and downtown area...is the small business...and give them the kind of incentives that'll try to redevelop downtown," Wallace said on his redevelopment agenda.
- Bridge gaps in city
- Initiatives (i.e. library) to bring locals to downtown areas
- Renew Tourism Development Fee in Order to Grow Tourism and Sustain 88% Property Tax Reduction for City Residents
- Creation of Economic Development Office
- Develop Innovative Plan to Recruit Business and Become More Business Friendly
- Develop Long-term Plan to Revitalize Various Neighborhoods and Encourage Home Ownership in Historic Neighborhoods
Accomplishments claimed during tenure:
- PUD size shrinkage to encourage redevelopment
Wallace on public safety:
Wallace said the increasing tourism numbers are a hurdle for public safety to match. Wallace said he plans to continue technology initiatives like adding street cameras and license plate readers. If re-elected, Wallace said he'll work for police retention, specifically with mid-level officers. He said rookie salaries have been raised, but wants to bump up salaries for officers already in the department. Recruiting qualified candidates is also a goal. Wallace said getting qualified candidates to pass all tests to become a police officer isn't easy.
"We already have 800 cameras, that've helped us solve the crimes that we've had. And you know, so continuing to do that is a priority because public safety is a priority. We've done a lot. We've hired 40 something police officers in the past decade, so we've been keeping up with it but we need to make sure we're keeping up with it, making sure the money's there to keep up with the kind of bump that we had with 18 million tourists that're coming here every year," Wallace said.
- Increase police salaries for mid-level and senior officers
- Increase police retention
- Revitalize historic neighborhoods
- Work with Governor Henry McMaster to increase police presence during spring break
- Continue making strides for state-of-the-art technology
Accomplishments claimed during tenure:
- 2.1 Million Dollar Investment in City Wide Camera Surveillance System
- Body Cameras for our Police Officers
- License Plate Readers at all Entrance Points to the City
- 40 New Police Officers Added Over the Last Decade
- 9.25% Pay Increase for all Public Safety Officers Since 2015 Plus Merit Pay
- Implementation of Hyper Reach Communication System
- Continue Strategic Hurricane Preparedness Planning
- Work with other Law Enforcement Agencies for Supplemental Officers to Provide Assistance from March to Labor Day
- Creation of Downtown Police Work Station
- More LED Lighting Throughout the City
- Wider Sidewalks on Ocean Blvd.
- Added Additional Supplemental Lifeguard Services through Fire Department in 2017
This is the seventh of WMBF News' profiles of Myrtle Beach City Council candidates. The series began Oct. 16, and will run nine days, with the last candidate being profiled Oct. 26. WMBF News will ask the same three questions to each. Those questions are about re-development, public safety and why he or she should be chosen for city council. There are three seats open on council. Councilman Wayne Gray did not file for this coming election.
Here are the air dates for each candidate:
Oct. 16: Ann Dunham
Oct. 17: Matthew Hardee
Oct. 18 Mike Hobeika
Oct. 19 Mike Lowder (incumbent)
Oct. 20 Brooks Myers
Oct. 23 Gregg Smith
Oct 24 Kevin VanWinkle
Oct 25 Jackie Vereen
Oct 26 Randall Wallace (incumbent)